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Boldly go where no one has gone before!
If the idea of playing out the classic space combat sim Wing Commander in 2D sounds appealing, then this obscure little title should be right up your alley. It's not exactly earth-shattering stuff but for a bit of unpretentious science fiction action, it certainly delivers the goods. There's little in the way of galaxy-spanning narrative as seen in the Wing Commander franchise but if does provide plenty of satisfying missions and some neat visuals to make it worthy of your time. The player takes control of a zippy little spaceship and must complete an extensive series of missions, which typically involve destroying the evil aliens or escorting and protecting friendly ships, with the overall goal being to wipe out the aliens once and for all. The whole thing is played in topdown view, sort of like a multi-directional scrolling version of classic shooter Uridium, and there are also plenty of weapons and upgrades to collect as you go, while a mini-map helps out a little in terms of navigating the universe. There's little to Star Hammer that we haven't seen before but it's certainly done with enough care to make it warrant playing. The visuals are neat,if unspectacular, but the action is fast and furious and rarely less than satisfying. The narrative elements are obviously not as well done as Wing Commander's flashy cutscenes, but there a few such attempts to bring some gloss to the game and which are pretty well done. The game certainly isn't complex or deep but what it is, is fun and that counts for a lot, so if you're looking for a new shooter, then put this one on your list.
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